Log In   ·   Become A Member

A Change In The Hamptons Real Estate Outlook: The Shift Towards Managers

John A. Viteritti

Many of the large firms, including Corcoran, employ managers that devote full-time to managing rather than listing and selling. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

In the past, I have written articles regarding the changing practices of real estate brokers in the Hamptons, especially since the large corporations have replaced many of the individually owned brokerages. The theme of this article concentrates on what has evolved over the past several years with many of the large firms, namely, Corcoran, Town & Country, Sotheby's, and Brown Harris Stevens, who employ managers who devote full-time to managing rather than listing and selling. I met with these managers at their respective offices. The question I posed to all was, why did their corporations decide to employ full-time managers? How did it benefit the firm and the public? What were their geographical areas of responsibilities, and what did their managerial duties include? The first of the interviews I conducted was with Ernest Cervi, Regional Senior Vice President of The Corcoran Group. The next series of Land and Law articles will feature interviews with the other managers I spoke with.

Did you work as an agent before you became a manager?

EC: My partner and I started a small real estate agency on Fire Island, and we soon decided that our agents did not want to compete with the owners for listings and sales, so we decided that we would never do that. We would give the listings to them. However, we also found that our agents still wanted to work with the owners, and that was a challenge. When I sold that company, I went to work for Douglas Elliman in Southampton, and I worked for a selling manager who was also a friend, and that created a lot of challenges, because I was competing with my manager. And then I came to Corcoran, where our philosophy is, as a manager, you don't list, you don't sell, you don't refer. You just manage, and help the agents grow their business which, of course, develops the firms business. And that made the agents very comfortable to come to me for guidance because they knew I wasn't competing with them. In my view, a selling manager is an agent with an office, because, let's suppose I am a selling manager who has a big buyer who is coming to town on the same day my newest agent is going on his first listing appointment. Where do you think that manager would be? The answer is two words, "human nature."

So you are a salaried employee, hired expressly as a manager. Do you have other employees?

EC: All of our managers are employees, as well as our advertising people and administrative staff. Only our agents are independent contractors.

How long have you been employed as a manager for Corcoran and what is your geographical area of responsibility?

EC: In January I was promoted to Regional Manager with responsibility for all ten Corcoran offices in the Hamptons and North Fork. I have managers in the different areas who assist me in carrying out our management responsibilities.

What do your management responsibilities consist of?

EC: What we do is all encompassing. I talk with all of my agents who are out in the field. I go on listing appointments with them, which I really enjoy. I talk about the broad services provided by Corcoran and why owners should list with us. I offer opinions on pricing based on the market and what I see with respect to the property. My second greatest responsibility is recruitment.

Are the skills necessary for managing different from those for selling and listing?

EC: The skills are totally different. A good agent does not necessarily transfer to a good manager. Having said that, when I was with AT&T, I was in sales and managed a sales staff which I think helped me as a manager with Corcoran.

I assume that all of the documentation required by license law also falls under your purview.

EC: Yes. I am responsible for making sure that we have the listing agreements, agency disclosure forms, lead disclosure forms, and have provided the seller with the property condition disclosure forms, all of which I am very strict about.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a manager?

EC: My biggest challenge is to find the time to spend out in the field with my agents. It's the most important function I have.

What do you consider to be the most important quality of a successful agent?

EC: Ethical behavior. If you can speak, walk and talk, and are a likeable person, you can be a huge success in this business. If you lack the ethics, you are nothing but a liability. I am not interested in your record of success if it wasn't gained properly. I am interested in the proper training of new agents who have energy and the ability to develop a rapport with people, and making them the new generation of Corcoran agents.

How long does it take an agent to see return on their investment of their time?

EC: A new agent working full time, it takes about a year. An agent moving from another agency, obviously less.

How do you train new agents?

EC: I teach them how to prepare for a listing presentation, including all of the forms required by law as well as making a professional impression with how they dress and the condition of their car. We cover negotiating tactics as well as fair housing and ethics too. We follow that with a fifty lesson coaching series over a period of time. We firmly believe that training is the key to success.

A recent development has been the formation of agent teams. Discuss that please.

EC: We have many teams within Corcoran. With the demands placed on real estate agents today, we will see more and more teams as we move ahead. If I were starting out in the business today, I would want to be a member of a team.

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate Broker, DOS Certified Instructor, and real estate consultant. He previously taught at NYU, LIU, and The Cook Maran Real Estate School, which he helped found. www.johnaviteritti.com

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

New York Title Abstract Services, Inc.
We are a title insurance services company dedicated to promptly delivering fully compliant and accurate reports, and title insurance, for residential and commercial real estate throughout New York State. Headquartered in the Hamptons, our professional team has extensive real estate experience and understands the business from all sides including title insurance, legal, sales, governmental, banking, and lending regulations.

Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Considered a West of the Shinnecock Canal expert with a 5-star Zillow ranking, Aimee specializes in the luxury and waterfront markets in Quogue, Westhampton Beach, Remsenburg, East Quogue and Hampton Bays. With exceptional communication skills and a buttoned-up approach to every deal, she is highly skilled in the art of the negotiation process. Understanding the nuances of buying and selling waterfront homes, especially on Dune Road, is a specialty.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.

The Citarella Standard. We’re passionate about sourcing and selling the world’s best seafood. When you order our fresh seafood online, what you receive always reflects the unrivaled standard of our markets. It’s hand-prepared, never frozen, and shipped overnight. 631-283-6600.